'L.A. Live' aims to revitalize downtown

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES Forty-four floors and still growing. The hotel and residential tower at L.A. Live is changing the Los Angeles skyline. And by the time the 54-story project is completed, developers hope it will bring new life to the downtown area.

"It's is our time now," said Tim Leiweke, president and chief executive officer of AEG. "It's Southern California's opportunity to make a mark. And I've always told the mayor if you want to solve the economy and do long-term planning, it's going to be about events and it's going to be about tourism. That's our industry."

The tower will house a five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel and a JW Marriott Hotel. Guests will enjoy spectacular views of the city from the upper floors.

The project also includes more than 200 luxury residences. With the price tags ranging from about $2 million to $6 million.

L.A. Live is an entertainment campus that will ultimately span roughly six city blocks. It houses the already open NOKIA Theatre. The $2.5-billion project will include restaurants, night clubs, sports and music venues and the Grammy Museum. Executive discussed the project at a luncheon Thursday. They believe it will stimulate more growth downtown.

"People are going to be building offices, hotels and restaurants and retail, and people are going to live here," said Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International. "And that's the key is to get people to live in the neighborhood. So that you have nighttime activity."

The hotel residential phase of L.A. Live is scheduled to open in 2010.

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